GOLIATH books presents the work of two photographers that apply cinematic production, staging and special effects to create incredibly surreal single frame images.
Paul M Smith – Photographs
Paul Smith was one of a small group of photographers in the mid 90s who embraced the creative possibilities of photography and digital technology using computer software like Photoshop to make crucial photographic work. A photograph is considered to be a real represtentation of the world recorded by the camera. The possibility that such images could be digitally manipulated without a trace was considered heresy by many photographers.
In 1997 Smith exhibited his first series of work, ‘Artists Rifles’. Here he explored the demanding roles of soldiers in training and on the battlefield that he knew intimately, due to his time in the army. By using digital techniques he was able to reproduce himself many times in one image playing out the different roles of each soldier. Because of digitisation, one man could now do the work of ten, or even a whole army. With ‘Make My Night’ produced in 1998, Smith displays the male group at play. Again, Smith plays all of the roles.
A later series ‘Not Pornography’ explores fantasy and sex, the fusion of the male and female body. Through digitisation, everything is malleable. The body becomes elastic and different parts can be fused together into hermaphroditic hybrids.
Charlie White – Photographs
Charlie White doesn’t take photographs. He constructs them. Like a hollywood director, he orchestrates scenes, commisions sets, hires actors, and employs a visual effects team. Then he oversees a grueling postproduction process in which each element of the shoot is digitized, scrutinized, and perfected down to the pixel. In essence, he captures an entire f/x film in one frame.
Using a humanoid puppet named Joshua, White explores the themes of male self-image and self-loathing. White places Joshua in a series of vulnerable situations – at a cocktail party or a lover’s house – and photographs the scene.
Limited copies on sale now at Floating World.